Geordie Walker, one of the founders and guitarist for Killing Joke, has died of a stroke at the age of 64. Killing Joke is a band that is impossible to fit into just one music style box, and that is the reason why they have always been such a highly influential band to so many different musicians. My thoughts go out to his friends and family. May his memory always be a blessing.
I have complained on here and on my social media accounts about how a lot of modern post-punk bands sound the same; same Joy Division sounding bass, same droning vocals, same Cure sounding guitar. In fact I have had a bunch of people mad at me for talking about this in the past, but am I wrong? No, I am not. Are there good modern post-punk bands out there? Of course, but they are the outliers and not the norm. Being that all of this is the case I have decided to start buying music from the 80’s that I somehow overlooked back then or that I just didn’t know about. I have also bought some newish metal and legacy band CDs.
I can well imagine some people looking at the above photo and wondering why I would buy a bunch of Now Yearbook pop album compilations. The secret is that they never contain just pop songs. Back in the 80’s the British charts would often have new wave and ‘alternative’ songs in their ranks. More so than in the United States. For instance, that above Now Yearbook 88 comp has Voyage Voyage by Desireless on it, which was a big club hit in the alternative clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area back then. Never heard it on the radio, only in clubs so I was quite happy finding it on this CD. Also, there are a bunch of songs on these from bands that I totally skipped over in the 80’s for whatever reason. Remember, there was no internet and it was easy as hell to accidentally forget about bands back then. All of these were below £10 a piece and some were even below £5.
The above left is a Devo: 50 Years Of De-Evolution 1973-2023. I got this because I don’t own anything by them and I thought that it was about time that I did something about that. The above right is OMD Souvenir, a collection of their singles. I owned some of their music on tape in the late 80’s but nothing since. They were the first concert I ever went to back in 86 so they will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. The bottom left is Toya’s album Anthem. I have been meaning to buy her music for ages now. She is one of those 80’s musicians that I just totally missed back then, mostly because I was in the US where I never heard her music being played. I have been constantly listening to this and she is sooooo good!The bottom right is Fuzzbox’s compilation Bostin’ Steve Austin, that includes their first album and a bunch of singles. I was very, very pleased to find their music on CD, because I had their first album on tape back in the late 80’s.
Yet more compilations! The top two are pretty easy to sus out so really no need for an explanation. I love Lycia and a few other ethereal bands so that middle CD really pleased me. It is a new comp put out on Cherry Red Records called Cherry Stars Collide: Dream Pop, Shoegaze & Ethereal Rock 1986-1995. I barely own any shoegaze or dream pop so this was a bit of a must have for me. Through it I know I’ll discover more bands. The bottom two are synth-pop compilations, one based on 1980 and the second based on 1981. I love old synth-pop music so these were a no brainer for me to get. Again, listening to these two will lead me to older bands that I have totally forgotten about.
I am beginning to explore metal music a bit more. I have always loved early Danzig and thrash music so it is a genre that is ripe for me to explore. The upper left is Omen by the band Moyra. They are a female lead melodic death metal band and holy shit can the woman growl and sing. The upper right is EndEx by the industrial metal band 3teeth. I really want to explore that specific genre more because I really don’t own that much of it even though I do tend to like it. The middle left is Ofnir by Heilung, and the middle right is Futha also by Heilung. They describe themselves as “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe”. They are haunting as hell and they give off spooky pagan vibes which is perfect in my opinion. The bottom left is OMD’s new album Bauhaus Staircase. I listened to it multiple times yesterday and it has got to be the most political music that they have ever made. I highly recommend it! Finally on the bottom right is Danse Macabre by Duran Duran.
Well, that is it for now. I hope you enjoyed this musical journey of my psyche as much as I loved writing about it, and I hope I introduced you to some bands that you will grow to love.
What is WGT I can hear some of you asking. It is the huge German goth music festival Wave Gotik Treffen that takes place In Leipzig every year. It is one of the largest goth music festivals in the world and people travel from everywhere to go to it.
Two people named Jean-Luc and Miss X wrote this article specifically for English speaking festival participants since many do not know all of the right wing neo-Nazi crap that has been happening at the festival. Everything from known neo-Nazi musicians being allowed to play at the event to white nationalists being allowed to set up stalls to share their hate filled agendas. The German press has reported on these very problematic issues, but such articles have not really gained traction outside of Germany. According to the article the people who run WGT will ban people from the festival if they speak out against it.
Well, quite frankly, since I have never been into music festivals I really don’t give a shit if I am on their permanently ‘banned’ list. I have included the entire article here, and I will give my thoughts under some of the sections. The section titles were created by the authors and the article can be found here. All working links are theirs as are grammatical mistakes. It was published on June the 3rd of 2023.
For more than 20 years, one of the largest Goth festivals on the planet is working with artists and publishers that are affiliated with far right extremism, meaning they book them or allow them to run their business on the festival premisses. The company behind the festival is doing this consistently and repeatedly and this is no secret. There is very little discourse regarding this in the goth scene and there has been next to no impact in the few years where it has been mentioned. Newspapers and magazines covered this, everything you can say on the matter is old news, except for the fact that this is not historical information, this is ongoing. The only people that are still really on the matter are local Antifa groups.
Since I have zero interest in attending music festivals I personally have never looked into the history of WGT. Since so many people from the UK and the US go every year you would think that the news about all of this white nationalist shit would have gotten out, but apparently people are scared to speak out?
Why write about this at all?
We believe this is relevant. Far right ideologies have real world debilitating impact. jl grew up with his family exposed in the Yugoslav civil war, a war motivated by nationalist ideology and racism. His family never fully recovered from the propaganda tactics used to promote division. Today most of us are in some way impacted by Russia’s criminal war on Ukraine that is motivated by the ultranationalist ideologies of figures like Alexander Dugin. Sociopolitical developments like these benefit from a soundtrack, from some emotional priming, from social events normalising the motives.
There has been a marked rise lately of this within alternative subcultures and in society in general.
WGT has a history of platforming artists and publishers promoting these motives. At the same time the festival never positioned itself, never distanced itself from the far right, claiming to be apolitical, which in practice meant they don’t wanna talk about it.
Most of the time when somebody says they are apolitical that just means they support a far right agenda and are too chickenshit to share their real views. White nationalists tend to be cowards. I, and others in leftist circles, have witnessed this over and over again.
When X talked about these things in a series of instagram stories on Monday, we learned that surprisingly many non German speakers had no clue about these things, so obviously there are still some people that can consider this whole story news. And maybe some of the Germans are too young to know.
I’m still surprised as hell that this news has been so well hidden outside of Germany.
When we asked ourselves why these people had no clue, we figured there is hardly any non German info on this (unless you wanna do research on some Russian neofolk fan forums or something).
We decided to change this and give our international friends some insights on things German goths don’t seem super happy to discuss.
I give them props for wanting to bring all of this dankness into the light.
So what’s happening at WGT?
This little article does not have the right scope to give you a full chronicle of events. What we’d however like to help you understand is that WGT as a festival is open to far right extremists over years and decades, even over two different companies organising the festival. If we would look at all of the individual occurrences we could claim accidents, but instead this all repeats. It is a constant of the festival, it is a feature, not a bug. We can’t tell whether this extreme right influences are just bound to a some small group of individuals or whether it is a small yet intrinsic element of the scene. No clue. But to give you a bit of background we compiled some facts and events to give a concrete idea what this is about, so you can decide for yourself.
I totally wouldn’t be surprised if this is a concerted effort on the part of German white nationalist groups to spread their message to a larger audience. Obviously somebody has connections with festival organizers in Germany to be able to pull off this level of crap.
In the year 2000, Mayor of Leipzig Holger Tschense feels forced by public pressure to prohibit Joseph Klumb, frontman of “Von Thronstahl”, to perform at the festival. The promoters do not cancel the slot though, so the band plays their CD while standing on stage in protest, holding a shovel and a flag with a black sun on it, a symbol originating in Nazi Germany, first seen in a floor mosaic in Heinrich Himmlers fancy little SS castle. The audience cheers the performance in front of Völkerschlachtdenkmal. This gig is not listed in WGT’s gig history, but if you google it you can still find the limited edition live recording from 2001 on discogs released on Fasci-Nation Recordings. Distributed by VAWS, which we’ll go into later. Von Thronstahl also wrote about the performance on their own webpage – we’re not going to link to that, you can find that yourself if you really want to look at it.
This is just so fucked up I can’t.
In 2009, WGT printed Heinrich Himmlers black sun (see above) on the festival’s “Obsorgekarte”, the ticket you needed for camping and public transport in Leipzig. Goth band ASP wrote a public protest note (in German) and announced they wouldn’t play WGT ever again unless the promoter would give an apology and explanation. The explanation they received was not signed in the name of the company, but rather by individuals. They claimed that none of the cultural creators involved is following any political goals with WGT and that the black sun is somehow about the 2000 year jubilee of the Varus battle. This legendary battle of Germanic tribes against the Romans was used several times throughout history to create an emotional backing for a political unity of Germany, to create some founding narrative of Germany that is predating any modern constitution. While there are in fact similar looking objects used by the tribes of the time, these are not the ones WGT used. They used the 12 S-runes, as found on Heinrich Himmler’s beloved floor piece. ASP wasn’t happy with that explanation and never showed up again. Threads about the issue in the official WGT forum were deleted by admins citing a “no politics” forum policy.
I actually know quite a bit about the ancient Roman Empire. In one form or another it lasted about 2,000 years, while the Nazis were in power for less than twenty. The Nazis were losers, just like modern German white nationalists. It’s gross as hell that they got away with this shit in the year 2009. The organizers of the WGT are pathetic for allowing this crap to happen. Kudos to ASP for refusing to play a show there.
For decades now, publisher VAWS has a booth in the merch area. The people that distributed that Fasci-Nation limited edition Von Thronstahl record according to discogs. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution took note of the company in 2002 and reported: “Through special offers and events, the alleged fascination with the aesthetics of fascism and National Socialism is to be revived, thus promoting right-wing extremist views on a cultural level.”. If you must, check out their website, you should be able to figure the general idea. You’ll find yourself somewhere between “Covid is a bio weapon”, “Argentinian exile Nazi isn’t really a Nazi” and “Let’s sell industrial tracks by putting tits on the cover”. Maybe you also wanna buy some Riefenstahl stuff.
They are allowed a booth there and nobody has done anything against it? The festival has the numbers to run this kind of shit out physically so why are people sitting on their hands? If I was wandering around a festival and saw that kind of shit I would have some very heated words and I might accidentally knock things down with my cane.
In 2015, WGT booked Majdanek Waltz, an openly fascist Russian band named after the concentration and extermination camp Majdanek. These are people that like to sing about how much they love their swastika. You can’t make this shit up. A German article looking into the band and its lyrics can be found here.
In 2022, WGT booked Of The Moon And The Wand, which has long-standing ties to nazi band Der Blutharsch. It was the seventh time the band played the festival. A local Antifa page posted a German article about it here.
In 1999, 2009 and also this year 2023 Fire + Ice performs at WGT. Frontman Ian Read, when asked in an interview about fascist and racist ideas, utters that he feels that no idea is completely worthless. Read claims that Germans suffer from a post war brain wash and should stop thinking about what is “correct”. He claimed that in this context of this brainwash the German abbreviation for concentration camp (Konzentrationslager) was changed from KL to KZ to make it sound more scary, implying that some kind of post war propaganda is trying to make things seem worse than they are. The thing with the change of abbreviation is even correct, except this change was done earlier as you can read in Eugen Kogons 1946 book “Der SS-Staat”. Kogon, himself a concentration camp inmate, writes that SS Soldiers preferred KZ over the official abbreviation because it sounds more, well, scary. Some more comprehensive background in English can be found here.
That dude who threw that famous punch in Seattle a few years back needs to get his ass to WGT because he is needed there. I can’t believe people just stand there and let this shit happen. That is what blows my mind the most about this.
Also this year, Austrian stand-up comedian Lisa Eckhart was booked. She’s among that breed of comedians who make money by saying “controversial” things, on national TV. Let me give you examples: “The erection of the black person’s penis requires all seven litres of blood that a human being has at his disposal.” or how do you like: “Paying reparations to the Jews is like giving Red Bull founder Mateschitz a Red Bull.”. Lisa likes using the N-Word a lot and believes that Asian people see the world in widescreen blockbuster format. That’s why they’re so afraid of Covid, you know? That’s all not enough to put her in the nazi corner I guess. She however works hard to stretch boundaries.
Somebody should have pelted her with eggs. Just saying.
Who feels like they are getting an advantage out of her work? VAWS had her face plastered all over their booth. This might give a hint. The fact that she, of all German-speaking standup comedians, was booked despite having no known goth scene relationship will give you another.
This is one of the reasons why I think a white nationalist network is behind this shit. Its coordinated.
As previously mentioned, the above list of events is not comprehensive and we could go on for a while, but we’ll leave it like this because we have other, better hobbies.
So what does this all mean?
WGT is a festival that is very open towards the right and even the extremist right. This is not a bug, it’s a feature. For decades it is a selling point of the festival. If you look at their language, their collabs, their general behaviour you will find dogwhistles and hints. If you look at how they whined on facebook in 2022 about how the city of Leipzig offered parts of the festival ground to Ukrainian refugees, inconveniencing their festival planning, there was barely any expression of solidarity. They simply blamed Leipzig. One could say that’s not too surprising for a promoter that likes to book Russians that like their swastikas a lot. Despite all this, people come to the festival like clockwork, every damn year.
What a bunch of assholes. Seriously.
What we see is of course not a right wing subversion of the scene as a whole. What we see is a scene that seems largely indifferent to their openness to the extreme right. People are unwilling to raise any critical voice, don’t care enough or have no clue what to do. Likely many festival goers feel like their culture was taken hostage by people they actually don’t wanna hang with. WGT is the one big party where they meet all their friends and they want to have a god time and there is no reason to deny them a good time. It’s like facebook. It’s kinda shit, but we can’t really agree on where else to go. And of course there are actual nationalists, conspiracy nutters, third reich apologists, blood and soil occultists and tons of boring, conservative boomers on top. This interesting mixture produces bizarre situations.
It is the time honoured ‘not wanting to lose goth scene cred’ excuse. Nobody wants to step up and say shit because they are afraid of losing that cred and I find that pathetic as hell. Especially when it involves excusing away neo-Nazi talking points. Remember kids, it is more important to attend a festival and be ‘seen’ than to openly act against neo-Nazis.
Recently I saw that one Tobias Theiss is making a free android app (WGT-Guide) that helps visitors to organise their party schedule. WGT has a lot of venues and stages, so this app is helpful. Since Tobias righteously doesn’t like these fascist tendencies, he omits certain acts from the app and doesn’t show them. This way he produces an independent app, for free, that adds value to a festival with above track record and calls this anti-fascist action. We can’t blame Tobias and I salute him for his service for the community, and for not going crazy because of the 1-Star reviews right wingers give him on the google play store. Still, that’s an interesting kind of mental gymnastics, that might be familiar to many people that participate and feel not perfectly well about it.
That is cool that he refuses to list the neo-Nazi crap on his WGT app. He shouldn’t have had to make it in the first place, but this is the world we are living in right now.
So what do?
We don’t go to WGT because we’re tired of that crap and do not want to put money there. It’s not even that someone books a Nazi band in Sachsen, that happens all the time. It’s rather the jarring indifference of the the scene, audience and artists alike. We very much understand that not going isn’t a good option for other people. But if you’re not indifferent as a festival goer and are just wondering what you actually can do about this, we have a few ideas.
Proves that parts of the goth subculture are still apathetic as hell. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the same shit was happening over thirty years ago.
First off: share this information. This is not for the fame and follows, but certainly it would be helpful to let people know. WGT deems itself “unpolitical” in the sense that it doesn’t want to discuss politics. This does not apply to us. The goth scene is not discussing these things enough – we assumed everyone knew, but judging from the amount of very concerned DMs we got, that’s not the case. As mentioned in the intro, on some of this stuff we couldn’t even find sources in English. Feel free to share any of the things we made available or use them as a reference. If you do decide not to go to WGT, and people ask why you’re staying home, tell them why.
Please share the article, because more English speakers do indeed need to learn about this.
Inform yourself about how to spot a neo-nazi, which symbols and dogwhistles are in circulation etc, so you can act on it if you see them.
A link all about the symbols and groups is further down..
If you’re an artist and WGT tries to book you, we understand that this is a good career opportunity for you and it’s difficult to say no. Please consider that being on a stage gives you a platform, and you can use that platform to make a statement. Nobody said your performance can’t include some educational content or that you can’t curate your audience by telling certain people to leave. Nobody said you can’t do a diss track. Nobody said you can’t publicly stand up for something.
I wish more bands would speak out while on stage.
Make it uncomfortable to be a neo-nazi or to be in close proximity to them. Leave the situation or conversation and tell people why. If you feel up for it, you can confront people directly, but only do this if you feel it’s safe for you to do so, and remember you don’t owe these people a debate about their batshit ideas. In Germany, you can actually call the police if you see a suspicious symbol. There’s a good chance the symbol is illegal or restricted and you don’t even have to be there while the cops sort it out.
Good advice. Some neo-Nazis are very violent so if you are going to confront one in person make sure you have friends with you who will back you up.
You will possibly find more familiar stuff in there than you would like.
Contact any organisation that allows this stuff on its premises and demand an explanation and apology for why it is there. Demand that they correct the situation. You can write them an email or call them out publicly, whatever suits your comfort level. Again, if you feel safe, you can ask people at the festival directly.
This is so important. If people do not confront neo-Nazis they feel safe which is something that should never be allowed to happen.
Be however informed that people criticising WGT are reported to have lost access to festival accreditation over it before, so if you are a journalist or photographer, keep this in mind.
I don’t give a shit since I will never go to it. Plus, calling out neo-Nazis is more important than going to a festival. Especially when the festival is allowing neo-Nazis on stage and in booths.
“People like us need to stop fuelling dystopias only because we grew up loving its aesthetics.”
Marco Visconti distilled it all down to this one very handy statement. It is not wise to help make negative expectation and dystopian outlooks a reality. Not on an individual, not on a sociocultural or political level. While this is a different and pretty complex issue that can be addressed another time: our stories and images matter. Our relationship to them matters and it shapes out reality. We hope this resource will help you to navigate all this for yourself and will help you to take charge if you feel you should.
From the title of this blog you know I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic media, however I would never support neo-Nazi crap. Plague? Sure. Earthquakes? Sure. Space alien invasion? Sure. Neo-Nazi crap? Hell no!
I hope sharing this article has helped people learn the truth as to what is really going down at WGT. Please share this or the article itself so that people can make an informed decision as to whether they want to go next year or not.
I have no idea who this person is because back in the 80’s-90’s I was in California. Apparently the dude used to associate with local New York bands and wrote a column about the goth, industrial and punk scenes for a rock magazine called Aquarius. I feel so out of touch because I had never heard about this person before. Since that is the case I am not going to order this right away. I’m going to read some reviews before I plunge full in.
There seems to be a whole lot of people writing books about the goth subculture right now; I imagine some are doing it for the love of the music while others are trying to cash in. I have no idea what side of equation that this person falls on so I am not going to tell you to rush out and buy it.
I used to DJ goth-rock, deathrock and punk music over twenty years ago. It was at the height of when synthpop and EBM music took over goth clubs so it was a pretty dire time to be into goth-rock or deathrock. In fact I was one of the few DJs in the areas that I lived that spun the deathrock revival music that was appearing during that time. So, needless to say, I own a lot of goth music from the 80’s and 90’s. Including tons of compilations. During the 90’s there were a lot of them and many were quite good.
So, I will be spending the next few days uploading all of them to my new laptop. Technology is both a curse and a blessing.
EDIT: It is now 84 songs with no repeated bands. I hate the heck out of Spotify, and don’t use it, but I have decided to start creating a playlist based on the music that I heard in alternative clubs in 88-92. It is a work in progress so this isn’t its final form. During those four years I went clubbing on a pretty regular basis, even multiple times a week. So, these are actual songs that were played back then not some fever dream of somebody who wishes they lived back then. Yes, rap/hip-hop songs were played at all of the alternative clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area back then, and I had a whole lot of fun dancing to them! From what I understand this was not as common in other areas of the US, so this list only represents what I experienced and is not indicative of what happened elsewhere.
Hope you have fun listening to this and discover songs that are new to you.
Before I start I would like to state for the record that I do actually like some of the bands featured above; Killing Joke, Body Count and some others. However, it’s on another continent than me and I tend not to go to shows where known sexual predator musicians are being featured. Just wanted to get that out there in case somebody thinks I’m being hypocritical about all of this.
Anyways! There sure seems to be a lot of new ‘alternative’ type festivals going on these days, mostly put together by the mainstream music industry. The above band line-up is so chaotic that it feels like they put a bunch of alternative band names in a hat and picked them out randomly. There is a whole lot of ‘I remember this band being edgy in the 90’s’ vibe going on here. Nevermind the fact that general admission tickets start out at $250.00. That is an insane price to pay for a one day event. It’s obvious that it is all about the Benjamins and not the actual music. Remember, all of the kids want to be goths or alternative these days so the people who put this together are counting on that to make a pile of cash.
EDIT: Just found out that it is being put on by Live Nation. No surprise there folks. They want your hard earned cash, and if women get sexually assaulted by musicians performing there so be it.
There is one more thing even more messed up than all of the stuff I have already mentioned; they put known sexual predators She Wants Revenge on the bill. This article by The Los Angeles Times is the most complete as to detailing what went down exactly at the club Cloak & Dagger, a space both members of the band ran until it was shut down due to public pressure in 2021. They broke up for a time, but are now back together being covered by such problematic websites as post punk dot com. I’m guessing they handed the site a huge wad of cash to feature them, since that is what they do to the majority of the bands featured on their site. I guess money is more important than protecting the lives of women. Go figure.
The only way that any of these mainstream produced festivals are going to change is if people stop going to them. Cruel World featured Morrissey, a racist windbag. This one features She Wants Revenge, a pair of sexual predators. People will crow online all about how black lives matter and how woman should be treated with respect, but will turn around and go see bands who are the antithesis of what they claim to believe.
I can well imagine that some of you are wondering why I am feeling the need to write out a post about such a peachy-keen site that promotes so many bands within the goth community. Well, sometimes things are not all that they seem to be; scratch the surface and sometimes you will find something very onerous underneath. Since I am not one to shy away from controversy I immediately knew that I has to write about this and tell people the truth as to what kind of website they are actually supporting.
So what kind of website is it and who originally started it? The original founder of post-punk dot com was Joshua Pfeiffer, and he started the site around 2004 to share information about the lesser known goth, post-punk and alternative bands that he was discovering. He couldn’t find a site online that was a repository of information about the music, so he scoured the internet, asked people, interviewed musicians and did a whole lot of independent research to create a site in which he could share his love of the music. He is also a musician and a DJ who has worked with a lot of people within the goth, alternative and punk communities. In other words the site was a work of love for him and the others who also participated in the day to day running of it. He did not do it for the money, and since it started to take more and more of his free time, which he didn’t have much of to begin with, he handed over the site to somebody who promised that they would run it in the same manner; Alex Baker, a promoter who was at the time living in New York.*
Who is Alex Baker? Where do I even begin; should I start off on what he claims he is or what he really is? Here are the basics. Our boy Alex is the son of a famous mainstream record producer. Who? At this point I really don’t care. I only know of this because our little Alex brags about it and shows 80’s photos of his dad with various famous musicians of the decade. I’m going to let Alex tell us what happened next, according to an interview that he gave in 2020.
In 2012 I started the process of taking over Post-Punk.com and relaunching it, which was done in 2014. Prior to this I had been doing event promotions in NYC, at clubs like The Limelight, Pyramid, CBGB’s, Knitting Factory and more, and had also ran a print publication.Redakce / proti sedi
Funny how he doesn’t mention Joshua Pfeiffer, the person who actually created the site. Relaunching it into what exactly? Why would a website that is there to only share information need to be relaunched? Didn’t he promise that he wouldn’t change the site? Oh dear!
In the same magazine article quoted above he goes into how he moved to Berlin but it got too techno for him so he decided to move to Los Angeles part-time to be closer to all of the post-punk/alternative bands there. Oh, and he can travel to Europe to catch all of the music festivals there too. Needless to say the guy has a serious amount of cash. The kind of cash that you can’t make from running a website or from being a promoter within the subculture. He has to be getting money from his father to afford all of this. I’m not going to put him down for that because plenty of people that receive an inheritance or an annuity aren’t totally self absorbed liars. Rather, it is how he uses his money, or doesn’t, that I would like to have a chat about.
So, we have established that Alex is in no way broke and has a considerable amount of money that allows him to regularly travel to Europe. Since this is the case why does he charge bands for album reviews and always begs for money to support the site?
Let’s tackle the whole pay to play scam first. I know that some of you won’t know what this means, so I’ll explain. Back in the 50’s-70’s it was very common that when a music producer or record label wanted singles played on the radio they would quite often pay the radio stations to play the songs. So, whomever had the most money came up on top. It didn’t matter what they sounded like, as long as the radio stations received the cash they got played. Since I know all about how this pay to play scam works I was a bit shocked to see our little friend Alex pulling this shit right out in the open. Not only does he charge bands money to be reviewed, he also charges them money to get such things as an Instagram boost. As a person who has run my own blogs on and off for almost twenty years I know that you can link your site to your social media accounts so that you don’t have to bother doing it manually. Charging a goth/alternative/post-punk subculture band money for all of this feels as dirty as a rolled up dollar bill on the floor of a bathroom in a goth club. So, who gets the most coverage? Any band that has money. Right now that means all of the Joy Division/Cure clone ‘post-punk’ bands, because the youngsters really dig them and buy a lot of merch and music from them. I’m not knocking all of those bands, but how is it fair to the bands that are broke and trying to get their music out there? It isn’t and it sucks.
I took screen shots of the whole band submission process on post-punk dot com. Come with me on a voyage of greed on the HMS Post-Punk! I will post a photo and explain what you are seeing underneath.
Awwww……how sweet they want to give us high-quality video content. We are pretending we are a band right now so go along with it. We are in hiding.
I just picked that we wanted an article published about us. Why? Because we play good music and are cool. Don’t forget that!
Would we like our music reviewed? Of course we would because we play good music and want people to find out about it. Wouldn’t our review just automatically appear on their Instagram page when they post it onto their site? WHAT!!!!! A ‘contribution’ amount of $150 for them to write a review and create an Instagram post of us? Why should we be contributing any money to a website that was meant to just be a central repository of band information in the first place? Oh wait, that’s right, when our friend Alex took over the site he decided to turn it into something that his daddy would be proud of; a mainstream endorsed music website that is all about the cash and who you know, rather than simply being about the music. I have even heard talk from different people who ‘know’ that Alex is also only allowing bands on the site that he deems ‘attractive’, that they need to have a certain ‘look’.
This doesn’t stop out dear Alex from regularly asking for yet more money to run the site, even though the dude is loaded. So, not only is he a liar he is money hungry as well.
Awww….look at Alex. He’s started a fundraiser for the site even though he is charging for reviews AND is loaded.
He even tried to crowdfund over £20,000 to start a print magazine, and it failed. Finally some good news.
What is the real reason behind why he took over the website in the first place? He wants the power and clout that owning a popular site within the subculture gives him. He wants to be the person that the mainstream music press goes to when they want their questions about goth/post-punk music answered. He wants to be the person who appears on podcast shows talking about the bands that he ‘discovered’. He wants his head up on a post-punk Mt. Rushmore sandwiched between Ian Curtis and Peter Hook. For him this is all a means to an end, with the help of his dad’s money and connections.
The last thing I want to discuss is something that really cracked me up. Since I knew that I was going to be writing this I kind of paid attention to the website’s Facebook page. The other day the below post appeared, and by golly do I have a lot to say about it!
Can you imagine somebody being so out of touch with reality that they would think that posting about the Dead Kennedys would give them some punk cred? Wonder no more because Alex has struck again! This has proven to me that he has never actually ‘listened’ to the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra would verbally demolish him because he has ALWAYS been against the mainstream music industry and what they represent. So much so that he wrote a song on the subject called Anarchy For Sale, about how corporations steal ideas and try to sell them back to the subculture that they stole them from in the first place. Sound familiar?
More and more people are whispering about all of this and are genuinely scared to say anything because of the power that he is currently holding over every single musician in the subculture. I have no doubt that Alex really enjoys holding the sword of Damocles above their necks, In fact he probably gets off on it.
I’ve been into goth/alternative/punk music for over 35 years now. Over that time I have witnessed some very egregious shit go down, but I must say that this is the first time I have seen somebody with obvious mainstream ties try to buy their way into the subculture. You can have all of the money in the world, but that won’t make you ‘authentic’. Do you know the people who are actually authentic within the goth/alternative/punk subcultures? The people who actually ‘listen’ to the music and love it for what it is; not for some perceived clout. They can be broke as hell and dress in clothes they got from Walmart but because they actually ‘listen’ to the music that will always make them more authentic than our boy Alex will ever be.
I was originally going to make that last paragraph the end of this article but since little Alex seems to love posting about the Dead Kennedys without actually ‘listening’ to them I thought I would help him out. These are all of the songs from their album Bedtime For Democracy that really fit into this entire situation quite well! Remember, these songs are just from one of their albums. Enjoy Alex!
Anarchy For Sale (1986)
Chickenshit Conformist (1986)
Hop With The Jet Set (1986)
Macho Insecurity (1986)
I Spy (1986)
*I’m now told that Alex actually bought the site in an auction when Joshua couldn’t afford the website any longer. Alex still ruined the site, so this doesn’t make any real difference.
Have you heard about how the members of She Wants Revenge didn’t really give a crap when people employed in their wannabe goth club were sexually assaulted? Remember the LA Times article detailing what occurred in 2021? To refresh your memory here is a free version of the take-down. All of this is public knowledge and I remember this being discussed in tons of goth online spaces during the time the article was released,
Since all of this crap happened She Wants Revenge were effectively cancelled, as well as they should have been because fuck these assholes. That is until Post punk dot com got it in their heads that it would be perfectly fine to promote them. Why would they think that? Mostly because they care more about scene cred than anything else. They have to put up the latest ‘news’ to look like they are on the cutting edge of promoting whatever shit band they are calling ‘post-punk’ these days. Women sexually assaulted at a club that the band members ran? Who cares about that! What is more important is having scene cred so that all of your young readers will buy whatever crap music from whatever crap band you are promoting before they move onto something else.
This is not the first time this kind of the thing has happened. Time and time again musicians, DJs, and promoters within the goth subculture are given a free pass to do heinous acts.
Up next, let’s talk about the singer for the bands Bella Morte and The Rain Within; Andy Deane. The allegations against him are so many and so credible that some of his ex band mates have dropped him as a friend. He emotionally abused multiple women by cheating on them, stealing their money and giving some of them STDs. There were so many women involved in his web of bullshit that there used to be a website dedicated to telling their stories. I’m not joking, this asshole has a long and rich history of pulling this shit, and yet he still gets invited to play gigs and some goth musicians still support him. Remember kids, scene cred is way more important than protecting the lives of women. Fuck this guy.
Lastly I want to talk about a promoter in the Washington DC area named DJ Panic. I have first hand experience with this steaming pile of shit because I moved to the area without knowing anything about anybody back in 2003. We messed around a bit BUT he started ignoring my phone calls and pretended I didn’t exist. Seriously. When I went to his job once to ask him what was going on he started to call me crazy. Ummmm….I don’t know…..but when you are act like a gaslighting little bitch you deserve to be confronted and treated like the piece of trash that you are. This serial emotional abuser did the same thing to other women right after me. Imagine my surprise twenty years later when I learn of this asshole being in charge of booking goth/industrial gigs in the DC area. I’m being sarcastic, because I actually wasn’t surprised at all. He has claimed that he is a changed person and that he has apologized to all of the people he hurt. Funny, I never got one even though I am easy as hell to find online. It shows you just how much that area cares about the safety of women. They don’t at all.
What can we lean from all of this? That scene cred is much more important than kicking somebody out of the subculture. If the abuser has ‘connections’ with club owners and bands then they are usually deemed too important and their behaviour is excused away. The DJs and musicians who support these assholes are just as bad in my opinion because they know exactly what is going on but don’t lift a finger against them. This has been a dirty little secret going on in the subculture for decades and one that almost nobody tells baby bats about. If a baby bat asks me about going to goth clubs I always tell them to act like it’s any other kind of club because there will be predators there.
The goth subculture has never been a safe space for everybody, especially women and it’s about time that the truth comes out about this HUGE issue.
This is a second list of the songs that I used to hear in ‘alternative’ clubs from 1988 to 1992. The shirt above is from the alternative club The Twilight Zone that was in Alameda California. You had to have a member card to get in because of the local laws and it was an all ages club. These songs were either played there, at The Edge in Palo Alto or at One Step Beyond in Santa Clara. The music was always very eclectic. Enjoy!
Bigod 20 – The Bog (1990)
Divine – Love Reaction (1983)
U2 – New Year’s Day (1983)
Nitzer Ebb – Join In The Chant (1987)
Until December – Heaven (1986)
MC Shy D – Shake It (1987)
Visage – Fade To Grey (1982)
Killing Joke – Love Like Blood (1985)
Book Of Love – Boy (1985)
Madness – One Step Beyond (1979)
Ministry – Work For Love (1983)
Faith No More – We Care A Lot (1987)
Trans -X – Living On Video (1983)
Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People (1983)
Lords Of The New Church – Dance With Me (1983)
Skinny Puppy – Assimilate (1985)
NWA – Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Tones On Tail – Go! (1984)
Sex Gang Children – Deiche (1982)
Danielle Dax – Big Hollow Man (1987)
Meat Beat Manifesto – God O. D. Part 1 (1988)